Urban Farm Helps Students with Autism
Urban Autism Solutions
by UAS
2M ago
Growing Solutions Farm was recently featured on FarmWeekNow who highlighted the essential life skills this program gives its students while learning lessons in urban agriculture. Read the article at Urban Farm Helps Students with Autism ..read more
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From Seasonal to All-Seasons: Extending the Life – and Impact – of Growing Solutions Farm
Urban Autism Solutions
by UAS
6M ago
Mike Underdown and Tim Hayes might not be the first names that come to mind when thinking about urban agriculture. After all, they’re known for their work in fiber optics and broadband, respectively, not necessarily working the land.  And yet for the Growing Solutions Farm (GSF)*, that’s exactly what they did. By trenching the entire length of the farm from east to west, they brought something valuable to the GSF hoop house – and along with it the capacity for UAS to make a bigger impact. A Call to Support the GSF Vision It was during the 2023 Carrots and Cocktails fundraising event held ..read more
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Growing Solutions Farm receives Laudato Si' Gardens Award
Urban Autism Solutions
by UAS
10M ago
Urban Autism Solutions' Growing Solutions Farm was recognized by the Laudato Si Encyclical Working Group and Garden Committee of the Archdiocese of Chicago at Shine of Our Lady of Pompeii. UAS co-founders Julie and Mike Tracy, along with their son, John, received the Laudato Si' Gardens Award at a special Mass on Sunday. The award recognizes gardens that are part of local ecology by including pollinator plants and wildlife habitat, growing food that is shared with those in need, and providing space for contemplation. Growing Solutions Farm does all that and more. Native plants have been added ..read more
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Growing Solutions Farm in the News
Urban Autism Solutions
by UAS
10M ago
Growing Solutions Farm was featured in an NTD Business News segment. The piece features Urban Autism Solutions executive director, Heather M. Tarczan, who talks about the farm's vocational program, and students in the One Summer Chicago jobs program working at the farm. To watch the segment, click here ..read more
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UAS Jobs program one of Few designed to serve youth from underserved communities
Urban Autism Solutions
by UAS
10M ago
How many organizations provide vocational programs designed intentionally to reach young adults with autism and related challenges from underserved communities? According to a recent study, very, very few. But Urban Autism Solutions, a non-profit in Chicago, is one of them. UAS provides vocational programs to students with autism and related challenges from West Side Chicago public high schools. A study from Mathematica found only two of 141 vocational programs for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities including autism identified through a literature review had the expl ..read more
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UAS welcomes two new board members
Urban Autism Solutions
by UAS
10M ago
Urban Autism Solutions welcomed two new board members in May. Barbara Zawacki, recently-retired chief operating officer at Easterseals serving Chicagoland and Rockford and Kim Thompson, a project manager at Richo and mother of a young adult son with autism. Barbara and Kim join UAS board president, Mary Walsh, division director at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; treasurer Joe Froelich, managing director of TKO Miller; secretary Maura McCarthy, a retired executive at Mondelez and a civic activist; Roy Walker, III, Dean of Health Sciences at Malcolm X College and Warren Ribley, president of W ..read more
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UAS Hosts Summer Ambassador Program
Urban Autism Solutions
by UAS
10M ago
Growing Solutions Farm is bustling with activity this Summer, as we've been thrilled to welcome the energetic and enthusiastic young participants of our Summer Ambassador Program. Starting Thursday, July 6th and continuing weekly through the end of the month, participants ages 10 to 13, who have Autism or a related challenge, have had the opportunity to engage in urban agriculture under the guidance and supervision of lead farmer Tucker Kelly and other UAS staff mentors. Participants have enjoyed learning in an interactive, hands-on way about the operations of the farm and different types of p ..read more
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2023 Brings Changes at UAS
Urban Autism Solutions
by UAS
10M ago
Dear Friends, Happy 2023! I hope that the new year finds you well. I am writing to you today to let you know that I will be stepping down as executive director of Urban Autism Solutions on January 27 to rejoin the State of Illinois. This has been a very, very tough decision for me to make since I have been with UAS for more than six and a half years and am so deeply invested in its success and growth. I cannot tell you how proud I am of the team we have, the work we are doing, the people we are serving, and the passion I personally have for our mission and programming. The UAS Board of Direct ..read more
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UAS Partnership with Lyft on Fox 32 News
Urban Autism Solutions
by UAS
10M ago
Alejandro Sanchez is a student at the Ray Graham Training Center who got his job at DD's Discounts through Urban Autism Solutions. Alejandro has been working there for about 8 months, thanks in part to the ability to take a free Lyft to and from work. Safety concerns about taking public transit to work almost meant that Alejandro wouldn't be able to work, but thanks to a generous gift from Lyft, students who get jobs through UAS can take a free Lyft to and from work. Sharon Parmet, UAS communications director, and Alejandro appear in this Fox 32 News piece about UAS and Lyft ..read more
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UAS Launches Young Adult Advisory Council
Urban Autism Solutions
by UAS
10M ago
This month, Urban Autism Solutions kicked off an exciting new initiative with the inaugural meeting of the newly formed Young Adult Advisory Council. Comprised of five young adults with autism, the Advisory Council seeks to deepen UAS’s commitment to our mission by consciously bringing the lived experiences of young adults with autism and related challenges into the organization’s planning processes and program development. Meetings of the Advisory Council will be held every two months. These meetings will provide opportunities for Council members to offer feedback and ideas for further devel ..read more
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